Assembly of Diverse Voices Developed Recommendations to Inform First White House Conference on Food Issues in 50 Years, Conference Takes Place This September
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (Task Force) — an independent group of national leaders and experts convened by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Food Systems for the Future, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and World Central Kitchen — publicly released its comprehensive Report to inform the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health — the first conference of its kind held since 1969. On Wednesday, Aug. 31, the Task Force Co-Chairs will host a public webinar on the Report and its critical recommendations – register here.
The Task Force Report represents the most far-reaching, consensus-based recommendations from diverse perspectives on U.S. food and nutrition policy since the original White House Conference report in 1969. In addition to the Task Force itself — comprising leaders from academia, civil society, government, and the private sector — the report was informed by a review of more than 75 existing policy reports; a Strategy Group of approximately two dozen national organizations that provided a broader reflection of views and issues across America; discussions at three in-person national policy convenings held in different parts of the country that brought together more than 240 multi-sector leaders and stakeholders; and more than 15 listening sessions planned with communities around the nation to elevate and center the knowledge and perspectives of individuals with diverse lived experiences around hunger, poor nutrition, and diet-related diseases.
The Report has been shared with the White House and is now being publicly released. It contains 30 high-priority policy recommendations, undergirded by more than 200 specific actions for the federal agencies, Congress, and other stakeholders, to end hunger, advance nutrition, and reduce diet-related conditions in the United States. The Report also includes 12 recommended actions and commitments for the private sector to support these goals.
Advancing the bold, high-impact agenda outlined in the Report calls for political will and bipartisan solutions from the White House, Congress, specific federal agencies, state and local governments, non-government organizations, and the private sector. The Task Force members are banded together in their unwavering belief in the paramount importance of taking decisive action to achieve transformative change to end food insecurity and hunger, improve nutrition, and reduce diet-related diseases.
The Task Force believes that these efforts — while not formally requested nor endorsed by the White House — can help elevate the best ideas across the United States to catalyze historic, transformational solutions to some of the greatest challenges around food facing the nation.
Statement from Task Force Co-chair José Andrés, Founder and Chief Feeding Officer, World Central Kitchen; Founder, ThinkFoodGroup
“This Report is one of many necessary efforts to build longer tables and combat hunger in America and the world. By listening to the people, policy experts and advocates, this Report provides a roadmap to enacting bold changes to increase access to healthy, nutritious food for all Americans, while ensuring those changes protect the dignity of all people. This is only the beginning, there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Statement from Task Force Co-chair Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Food Systems for the Future; Former Executive Director, World Food Programme
“The policy ideas and recommendations outlined in this report are a critical first step to achieving a healthier and hunger free America. Many diverse perspectives were part of the process — most importantly, people with lived experiences of hunger and diet-related disease. At the same time, this report is just the beginning. Making healthy food more available, affordable, and in demand will require commitments from players across the food system — from farmers to manufacturers and to each of us as eaters. And of course we also must address the underlying issue of poverty. I look forward to working with government, private sector and everyone engaged at the grassroots level to help deliver and scale the solutions we’ve shared. I have no doubt that collectively we can design a future where no American goes hungry or needlessly suffers from diet-related disease.”
Statement from Task Force Co-chair Secretary Dan Glickman, Distinguished Fellow of the Center on Global Food and Agriculture, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; Former United States Secretary of Agriculture
“This Report builds on the incredible work in the 1969 White House Conference that led to transformational changes in our feeding programs. It contains multiple actionable recommendations improving the operations and access to programs feeding hungry Americans, and in the process focusing more on the nexus between health and nutrition in American society more generally.”
Statement from Task Force Co-chair Senator Bill Frist, Former Majority Leader of the United States Senate; Global Board Vice-Chair, The Nature Conservancy; Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; Adjunct Professor of Surgery, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Cardiac Surgery
“This Report provides comprehensive, bipartisan recommendations to tackle our nation’s current hunger, nutrition, and health crises. The key insights it provides, cultivated from those with lived experiences, stakeholders, and policy experts alike, will help inform the White House on how to improve the nutrition and health of our country. Better food and nutrition security will work to ensure that every American has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy.”
Statement from Task Force Co-chair Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean for Policy and Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University; Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine and Division of Cardiology, Tufts Medical Center
“In 1969, Dr. Jean Mayer — the founder of the Friedman School — was tapped by President Richard Nixon to bring together diverse stakeholders from around the nation and create a consensus report of recommendations to address hunger. That report was transformative, setting in place many of the country’s most effective food and nutrition policies. Now, 53 years later, we face renewed, and different, sets of challenges. We aimed for our independent Task Force to build upon the spirit and success of Dr. Jean Mayer’s efforts in 1969 to identify and elevate the best ideas around the nation to end hunger, improve nutrition, and advance health and health equity. The actions and strategies we have outlined are sensible and actionable, and would create transformational change for Americans. We look forward to supporting the administration, agencies, Congress, and all other stakeholders to advance this critical work in the months and years to come.”
The Report’s 30 recommendations span across six policy areas: Federal Nutrition Programs, Public Health and Nutrition Education, Health Care, Research and Science, Business and Innovation, and Federal Coordination. Each recommendation addresses at least two of the pillars that the White House has selected to outline the scope of the Conference — with many addressing three or four. These pillars include: Improve food access and affordability, integrate nutrition and health, empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices, and enhance nutrition and food security research. The Task Force’s efforts are supported by the Bia-Echo Foundation, the HAND Foundation, and World Central Kitchen; with additional support for the Convenings and Listening Sessions from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Yun Family Foundation.
The Task Force Co-chairs thank the Biden-Harris administration for leading this historic conference and for centering the need to end systemic hunger, nutrition, and health inequities. The Co-chairs also thank Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) for highlighting these issues in their work and for their tireless advocacy for this Conference.
Tragically, Rep. Walorski and two members of her staff died in a car accident on Aug. 3. She was an incredible advocate in the fight for nutrition security and health equity. The Task Force Co-chairs extend their deepest condolences to her family, friends, staff, and the people of Indiana.
About the first White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health: The 1969 Conference brought the nation together to address widespread hunger in America and was chaired and organized by Dr. Jean Mayer — a leading nutrition scientist, the tenth president of Tufts University, and the namesake of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts. The conference established much of the current U.S. food policy framework, including major expansion and harmonization of the National School Lunch Program and the Food Stamp Program (now SNAP), creation of the School Breakfast Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and new consumer protections like nutrition labeling. These policies together greatly reduced caloric hunger and vitamin deficiencies in the U.S.
About the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Founded in 1922, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing knowledge and engagement in global affairs. Our in-depth analysis and expert-led research influence policy conversations and inform the insights we share with our growing community. Through accessible content and open dialogue of diverse, fact-based perspectives, we empower more people to help shape our global future. Learn more at thechicagocouncil.org.
About Food Systems for the Future
Food Systems for the Future (FSF) was founded to catalyze, enable, and scale market-driven agtech, foodtech, and innovative businesses across the value chain to improve nutrition outcomes in underserved and low-income communities. Through wraparound support to enterprises and broader ecosystem building, FSF addresses barriers to affordability, availability, and awareness of healthy, nutrient dense foods through our core services: financing, business acceleration, public policy & education, partnerships & community engagement, and nutrition expertise. FSF currently operates in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more at fsfinstitute.net.
About the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is a leading U.S. institution focused on education, research, and public impact around the food system, from soil to society. The School’s five divisions and additional centers and institutes are renowned for the application of scientific evidence to national and international policy. Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier teaching and research universities in the U.S. Learn more at nutrition.tufts.edu/
About World Central Kitchen
Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions. WCK has served more than 200 million fresh meals to people impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world. WCK’s Resilience Programs strengthen food and nutrition security by training chefs and school cooks; advancing clean cooking practices; and awarding grants to farms, fisheries, and small food businesses while also providing educational and networking opportunities. Learn more at wck.org.